The problem of head trauma in football is getting lots of attention – and for good reason. Stories of professional players’ suffering the effects of years of brain injury populate the news, and statistics show that even young players aren’t immune.

Inventing for Impact… Literally

While it’s still unclear whether helmet technology can ever prevent concussions, inventors are hard at work on new technologies that could make football safer. In the August issue of Inventors Digest, these inventions take center stage. Be sure to check out the full stories, available digitally here

What’s happening to the helmet?

Helmets are designed, in theory, to reduce brain injuries. But, as IPWatchdog’s Gene Quinn and Steve Brachmann write, current versions reliably protect against blunt impact but offer precious little protection against the conditions that lead to serious injury.

A cadre of inventors and start-up companies are working to develop new technologies that may be able to start mitigating head trauma in football. Their innovative ideas range from a helmet featuring self-recovering airbags, to a device that increases the amount of blood in the cranium so that the brain fits more tightly within the skull, to a two-layer helmet that rotates to help lessen impact from rapid twisting and torsion.

More details on these inventions and companies on pages 24-27 of the magazine.

Is the answer on the outside?

Many of the inventions described above address what’s inside of the modern helmet. But former NFL punter Zoltan Mesko and a team of innovators are putting a leaf-spring device, similar to what forms the suspension system on a wheeled vehicle, on the outside instead.

Reid Creager tells the story of how Mesko joined up with a fellow Michigan alum and six Harvard MBA, medical and law students to develop their new technology. Mesko and company’s go-to-market device is designed to help on the practice field first – where 76 percent of concussions occur as kids try to prove themselves.

Check out the full article on pages 20-23 of the August edition.

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